Shoot Me Now . . . Please!

I have a coworker whose communication style drives me batty.  She:
  • often speaks . . . haltingly . . . in fits and starts and . . . hesitantly
  • rambles and takes forever to get to the point.
  • interrupts/talks over other speakers with commentary that seems often loud, irrelevant, and/or crude.
It takes her FOREVER to tell a story (and she LOVES to talk)!

She recently removed me as one of her facebook friends. And I know why. She has accused me of not listening to her, "hurrying" her when she speaks, making her feel stupid, and/or downright ignoring her. I guess I'm guilty as charged. I don't know what to do! By the time she's said the 3rd word in a 15-word remark, I know exactly what she's going to say -- and so I finish her sentence because I don't have 10 minutes to hear it!

My job requires me to draft policies, company position statements or other documents that require precise phrasing. I have to concentrate to craft the right communication. I don't have time to allow this woman to struggle through accounts of unrequited lust, parenting problems, or celebrity gossip. I appreciate the occasional distraction during the work day as much as anyone, but doesn't she ever look at a clock to see how long it takes to get through a conversation with her?!

She makes me feel like such an awful person -- and the thing of it is -- I LIKE her! I just don't have time to listen to her! I wish I knew what to DO!
Colormevibrant Colormevibrant
46-50, F
1 Response Jul 31, 2010

Half, I really appreciate your thoughts and will take them under advisement. <br />
<br />
The coworker who is the topic of this story, is one I sit next to in a cubicled office space -- so we struggle with this issue all day, every day. Moving is not an option. I actually chose to sit next to her when we moved a couple of months ago because I really like her. There are now no alternate seats available. We're a small team sharing confidential space away from the rest of the organization.<br />
<br />
While I'm certainly able to tell her if I'm working on a project and need to concentrate, the problem is, of course, that I'm not always working on a project. If I'm posting here, or checking my email, she'll assume I have time to socialize and demand my attention. I'm then in a quandary because I'm obviously not "busy" -- but I'm still doing SOMETHING that's demanding my attention. So she gets REALLY upset when I listen with only half an ear at those times. <br />
<br />
I don't mean to hurt her feelings, as I'm sure your best friend didn't mean to hurt you. I am more than willing to listen patiently if I'm not doing anything else -- but I need to get to decide when I'm "not doing anything else."